One after another they hasten to display their insignificance before him.
The insignificance of the Jewish community in Palestine was their salvation.
Danby therefore ordered a return from every diocese of the numbers of dissenters, both Romanist and Protestant, in order by a proof of their insignificance to remove the royal scruples.3 In December 1676 he issued a proclamation for the suppression of coffee-houses because of the "defamation of His Majesty's Government" which took place in them, but this was soon withdrawn.
The comparative insignificance of Ireland in the case of the wheat and barley crops, represented by 2 and 8% respectively, receives some compensation when oats and potatoes are considered, about one-fourth of the area of the former and more than half that of the latter being claimed by Ireland.
Nevertheless, the concentration of all ritual at a single point, and the practical exclusion of laymen from active participation in it - for the old sacrificial feast had now shrunk into entire insignificance in comparison with the stated priestly holocausts and atoning rites2 - lent powerful assistance to the growth of a new and higher type of personal religion, the religion which found its social expression not in material acts of oblation, but in the language of the Psalms. In the best times of the old kingdom the priests had shared the place of the prophets as the religious leaders of the nation; under the second Temple they represented the unprogressive traditional side of religion, and the leaders of thought were the psalmists and the scribes, who spoke much more directly to the piety of the nation.